Leaked Google Data Reveals What Google Employees Are Being Paid

By: Lauren | Published: Jan 08, 2024

When it comes to high-paying industries, it’s no secret that the tech sector is one, if not the best in the world. And some of the highest earners in the business work at the wildly successful company, Google.

While Google’s base compensation for its various employees has always been available to the public, details such as bonuses and equity were not. Now, thanks to an internal spreadsheet from the tech giant, everyone knows exactly how much they make.

The Google Spreadsheet Everyone Is Talking About

News source Business Insider got its hands on an internal document from Google, in which 12,000 of the company’s U.S.-based employees voluntarily entered their salaries, bonuses, and equity.

Group of Google employees taking in a circle

Source: Adobe Stock

Since Insider released the information, it’s all anyone can talk about, because although people generally knew that employees were paid well at Google, they didn’t know quite how well.

Breaking It Down by Job Title

The spreadsheet listed the position, minimum base salary, maximum base salary, minimum equity, maximum equity, and bonus and bonus percentage minimum and maximum of every employee who entered their information.

Man working in an office with a computer and tablet displaying graphs

Source: Freepik

So what Insider did was take this information and break it down by job title to create several graphs that show the highest and lowest earners in every category.

The Highest-Paid Jobs at Google

According to the data collected, the three highest-paying jobs at Google are enterprise direct sales, engineering manager for software, and software engineer, with software engineers at the top.

CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, speaks to an audience

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In fact, in the number-three spot, the highest-paid enterprise direct salesperson only makes $377,000 annually, and the most compensated engineering manager makes $400,000. But the highest-earning software engineer makes almost double what they make at $718,000.

Software Engineers Are Paid the Big Bucks

Throughout the various charts that show highest salary, equity, and bonuses, the job titles vary as to who takes which spot. However, across the board, software engineers are always number one.

Man working on computer with the Google logo and the words “software engineer” superimpose

Source: @authenticjobs/X

Software engineers have the highest bonuses at $605,000, the highest equity at $1.5 million, and, of course, the highest base salary.

The Lowest-Paid Jobs at Google

Which job is at the bottom of the list changes list to list. For example, those who work in technical solutions have the lowest maximum equity, UX designers have the lowest highest bonus, and the highest-paid program manager makes less than any other position.

Google employees at work inside an office building at the Googleplex corporate headquarters complex of Google, Inc., located in Mountain View, California

Source: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis/Getty Images

However, it’s the media accounts specialists at $106,000 per year and those who work in HR benefits/child care with only $79,019, who make the least of any Google employee on the list.


Understanding Equity for Google Employees

What’s especially important about the Google spreadsheet is that it explains the minimum and maximum equity for each role. Equity compensation is essentially pay through stocks as opposed to cash, and stock in Google is extremely lucrative.

Google on the New York Stock Exchange

Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Therefore, people who work as software engineers who can have a maximum of $1.5 million in company shares can potentially make a lot more money over time than program managers who have a max of only $400,000.


Remember That These Are the Maximums

It’s important to remember that these figures are the maximum numbers that a Google employee can or does make, they are not the average.

Logo with signage in front of Building 44, which houses employees working on the Android mobile phone operating system

Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

For example, while the highest paid software engineer makes $718,000 as a base salary, the average employee with the same title only makes between $100,000 and $375,000.


How Can Google Pay So Much?

But as even the average salary at Google is far above the national average, many people want to know: How can Google pay its employees so much?

Chart explaining the various companies under the Alphabet umbrella

Source: Wikipedia

Essentially, Google is part of a larger company called Alphabet, which owns social media, smart devices, and app brands everyone knows and uses. Alphabet’s current net worth is a whopping $1.74 trillion, a number that increased by 49.75% in 2023. So it’s safe to say they have plenty of money for their employees.


Does Meta Pay Its Employees as Much as Google?

Comparatively, the giant tech company Meta, which includes Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Threads, has a net worth of $882.71 billion.

Person holding a phone with the Meta logo in front of the Facebook logo

Source: Chesnot/Getty Images

And the average salary within the company is a whopping $296,000, whereas the average at Google is only $280,000. While it’s impossible to say without more detailed information from Meta employees, most experts agree that Meta and Google are in a tight race for the highest-paying companies.


Is Google a Good Place to Work?

Now, for some, an exceptional salary is enough, but others want to be sure that they actually like where they work, as well.

Then-Google Engineering Director Chee Chew demonstrates using the climbing wall during the grand opening of Google Kirkland in 2009

Source: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Fortunately, working at Google has always been known as a great way to both make money and enjoy life. Their offices are filled with comfortable chairs, open-plan offices, and even climbing walls, and most employees report that it’s a fantastic place to work.


Keeping an Eye on Opportunities at Google

For those who work in the tech industry or want to break in, keeping an eye on opportunities at Google is definitely a good idea.

In this photo illustration, the Google logo is reflected in the eye of a girl

Source: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

But it’s certainly a competitive market. Now that this information has been released by Google and Business Insider, the megacompany is likely to see more applications than ever before.